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Mega Man: The Wily Castle Remix Gauntlet 2013


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Just needed to say that it's a "perfect fifth" though. "Perfect" applies to fourths and fifths, and "Parallel" applies to thirds.

I just worked on my entry on my own, and sent to my team members for feedback once.

I just wanted to note that Parallel Fifths have nothing to do with 3rds. Its when you you have two voices in a chordal texture moving in the same direction with a 5th interval between them, which sounds awful if your goal is tonal harmony.

Edit: Mah bad Darkesword's already on this ;)

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Your dedication to good metadata is a shining beacon in the bleak sea of "Various Artists."

God Bless America. Anyway, I want to discuss another thing I'm seeing with novice mixers. A bit of a disclaimer: I'm going to talk now about my own approach to arrangement, and hopefully that will h

We've been working on our own, then towards the end of the week, we share a developed wip and offer feedback. It's pretty minimal but I think it's been working.
This is exactly what we did with Cash. Trism kind of ran out of time, so we didn't have a chance to see his WIPs except for a very rough one of maybe a quarter of the piece.

Problem with us is, we're all really slow. It took Cash and Trism, and will take me, nearly the whole week to come up with a complete arrangement sans polish. That leaves very little time for feedback and even less for collaborative elements. I'm hoping we'll get more of a chance to really collaborate in the final round.

(This is, incidentally, why I personally use MIDIs. Not because I can't transcribe the source--I even helped Trism with Moliarty--but because it's time-consuming and I need all the free time I have to work on arrangement and production.)

Edited by MindWanderer
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Problem with us is, we're all really slow. It took Cash and Trism, and will take me, nearly the whole week to come up with a complete arrangement sans polish. That leaves very little time for feedback and even less for collaborative elements. I'm hoping we'll get more of a chance to really collaborate in the final round.

(This is, incidentally, why I personally use MIDIs. Not because I can't transcribe the source--I even helped Trism with Moliarty--but because it's time-consuming and I need all the free time I have to work on arrangement and production.)

Haha you are describing me lol :)

I always have trouble merging both sources vertically in the mix. You have to transpose, then shift notes so the chords don't step on each other, also keeping in line with the rythmn, etc. It's much more time consuming than horizontal meshing. I have great respect for Prophetic because of this. He always does it so well.

Edited by shadow24
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Well I wanted to keep this quiet, but I'll just come clean. "Nuts" is actually a one man band, and is a persona I use for my trance/disco mixes. I just post under different aliases to explore other genres without ruining my reputation. I retired the jivemaster alias in 2006 because the mixes weren't working out (frankly, they were rubbish). Recently I've been using "Strader" for my experiential rock projects after I learned guitar a few years ago. The only reason they're all back is because I need 3 for a team.

My sincere apologies for deceiving you all.

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Last week it took me a couple of hours to choose my votes. This week it took me the better part of two days. Lots of great stuff, especially in regards to the topic du jour of source integration. Although interestingly, last week there was a pretty even spectrum from good to not so good, while this week there were two clusters with a significant gap (IMHO).

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We've been working on our own, then towards the end of the week, we share a developed wip and offer feedback. It's pretty minimal but I think it's been working.

This seems pretty similar to what our team has been doing.

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So far it's been pretty clear to me what tracks are my top 3 (usually 4 tracks I like and then I pick an order). I'm pretty cut throat in my review process though. If the song doesn't interest me in the first 30 seconds or so, I'm moving on to the new track.

As for team survey, nobody yet has gone into another's session or handed them files.

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I don't know how you can determine anything about how they integrated the two sources given 30 seconds. I don't think a single submission hits both sources that quickly.

My voting is based off good music, not integration. The arrangement is implied, not analyzed.

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I don't know how you can determine anything about how they integrated the two sources given 30 seconds. I don't think a single submission hits both sources that quickly.

Not going to lie, it's kind of how I review tracks (though I skip around to listen to the arrangement aspect of it - not just the first thirty seconds). You'd be surprised how much you can surmise from a short viewing of a track, actually.

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I don't know how you can determine anything about how they integrated the two sources given 30 seconds. I don't think a single submission hits both sources that quickly.

I understand the importance of clearly using both sources, but good arrangement can't be exclusively dictated by "source usage". I feel like it hampers the creative process and is why at least some of the tracks feel so calculated and dead to listen to.

There's soooo many more important factors to arrangement; like conveyance, structure, dynamics, timbre, instrumentation, chord voicing, orchestration, counterpoint, layering. I'll listen to most of the tracks all the way through to see if there are well-formed ideas, but if your piece can't effectively convey a moving musical idea to your listener within 30 seconds the arrangement probably needs a gloss over, even if the source usage is clever.

I mean, look at some of the best arrangers in the VGM scene, like XPRTNovice, Prince of Darkness, Snappleman, Stemage, Virt, Harmony, Star Salzman if you want to get retro. The source melodies and ideas themselves are merely ingredients for them to express their musical ideas with vivid detail. If they depart from the source completely it doesn't feel jarring because its usually to further express the musical idea they were going for.

Pete's track is a great example of this, which I think is a good indicator why he's getting so many votes. :D

Edited by Shadix
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This is why I wanted to make such a point about source usage earlier; sure, it's important to use both of the week's sources to create a good piece, but the bottom line is is that the *good piece* part should be emphasized from a compositional standpoint rather than trying to stuff pieces of both sources into your track wherever they'll fit. If you try to do that (and trust me, I used to do it ALL the time, and I'm still very critical of my own structuring and composition since that's what I personally value most) you're likely to get a meandering source that doesn't convey your intentions clearly and doesn't properly progress.

EDIT: OH, and about how our team has been working, we've got a group chat for the three of us on facebook and run updates past each other, but it hasn't been anything really in-depth and time consuming yet. Just a link here and there and light discussion. I don't think you guys would be able to handle collaboration between any of us just yet anyway ;)

Edited by Phonetic Hero
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I understand the importance of clearly using both sources, but good arrangement can't be exclusively dictated by "source usage".
In general, yes, completely true. But in this compo, we're given voting criteria, and use of the two sources is the most important one. If you're chucking a mix based on the first 30 seconds, you aren't playing this game by the rules. And if you don't think the voting criteria we're supposed to be following are worth paying attention to, then don't vote. Compose whatever you want, add whatever you want to your personal music collection, but make people earn their votes by following the rules of the game.

Someday when I'm a really good remixer I'll enter one of these things, spend a month working on a kickass mix that completely ignores the other source, and see how many votes I get. It should be zero. It won't be.

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In general, yes, completely true. But in this compo, we're given voting criteria, and use of the two sources is the most important one. If you're chucking a mix based on the first 30 seconds, you aren't playing this game by the rules. And if you don't think the voting criteria we're supposed to be following are worth paying attention to, then don't vote. Compose whatever you want, add whatever you want to your personal music collection, but make people earn their votes by following the rules of the game.

Someday when I'm a really good remixer I'll enter one of these things, spend a month working on a kickass mix that completely ignores the other source, and see how many votes I get. It should be zero. It won't be.

I find it rather ironic that you just made this response without reading my whole post when you are getting upset at people for not listening to the whole songs.

I actually agree on that front. I was stating that the 30 second approach does indeed have merit because the first 30 seconds are very important from an arrangement standpoint. I definitely think it is a good idea to listen to the whole pieces to get an idea and see if there were well executed ideas. I've actually been kind of worried people aren't even listening to all the entries before they vote.

Edited by Shadix
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My voting is based off good music, not integration. The arrangement is implied, not analyzed.

KgZ's statement may seem a bit arrogant, but I actually agree with him; I'm not saying "30 seconds" necessarily but when I vote if I enjoy the song from the standpoint of musicality, I can usually take a step back and thoroughly analyze the source usage and see that the arranger/musician did a good job on that front.

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I find it rather ironic that you just made this response without reading my whole post when you are getting upset at people for not listening to the whole songs.
Sorry, which part did you think I didn't read?
I actually agree on that front. I was stating that the 30 second approach does indeed have merit because the first 30 seconds are very important from an arrangement standpoint. I definitely think it is a good idea to listen to the whole pieces to get an idea and see if there were well executed ideas. I've actually been kind of worried people aren't even listening to all the entries before they vote.
Absolutely if your goal is to decide whether a mix is good or not, the first 30 seconds, or even 10-15 seconds randomly pulled out of the mix somewhere, has merit. But none of these mixes are perfect! Every single one has strengths and weaknesses, and some of the mixes that would fail the 30-second test are among the strongest in terms of the most important voting criterion.

I'll call out Space Pirate Attack again as an example: to be honest, if I were using the 30-second test it would have failed. Production was weak compared to many of the other entries, and the arrangement through that point was extremely straightforward. But at 34 seconds the second source comes in, and at the 39 second mark it's arranged brilliantly. The Sky Demon, on the other hand, is an excellent piece of music by any standard, but except for 5 notes, use of the Moliarty theme is sufficiently liberal that I personally wouldn't know that source was being used if I hadn't been told ahead of time. Again, I feel strongly that votes should reflect these things more than they have been, given the criteria.

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I don't know how you can determine anything about how they integrated the two sources given 30 seconds. I don't think a single submission hits both sources that quickly.

It's not immediately obvious (sine waves are sneaky), but mine did. And at the 32 second mark a more obvious cameo of my Robot Master theme comes.

My voting is based off good music, not integration. The arrangement is implied, not analyzed.

If that's your criteria---production primarily, and if everyone were to use the same criteria, then no amateur would ever get voted for, no matter how amazing their arrangement is. Is that what you want? A completely badass arrangement undermined by production to lose to a downright terrible arrangement highlighted by good production and sound design?

Edited by timaeus222
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The Sky Demon, on the other hand, is an excellent piece of music by any standard, but except for 5 notes, use of the Moliarty theme is sufficiently liberal that I personally wouldn't know that source was being used if I hadn't been told ahead of time. Again, I feel strongly that votes should reflect these things more than they have been, given the criteria.

Thanks for the kind words about the quality of the track, but I happen to strongly disagree with yours and a lot of people's stances on arranging of sources. Most people have been saying "if you have to post a breakdown to show where the sources are, you're not arranging your sources well enough", meaning that you only want the sources to be used overtly. I find that approach VERY boring, mainly when I write, but even when listening to the music of others. I like for there to be parts that I can discover past the first listen. If you find that my Moliarty usage is too liberal, I would say that you're not listening hard enough :P Check even just the first 8 bars (16 if you feel the whole song out in 160) of mine with the very beginning of the source. It's heavily interpreted, sure, but I wanted to get creative in my usage so that it would fit better with the style of the rest of the piece to form a more cohesive mix.

I avoided posting a source breakdown because it does feel a bit weird to have to post one and because I wanted people to be able to discover the interpretations for themselves, but I can assure you a lot of thought goes into how I arrange, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who operates this way. I enjoy good interpretation on a source, and I don't think it's fair to punish someone for being creative with their interpretation in an effort to make a more cohesive track.

I think it's also worth mentioning that not every two sources will fit together seamlessly no matter what. Some people just have harder work cut out for them than others because of the sources, and the interp was necessary to get Moliarty to fit in the style I wanted to do (traditional Japanese and cinematic in honor of Tengu Man). Again, because of this, I don't feel it's fair to punish someone for making a more cohesive arrangement with the cards they were dealt. Sometimes more molding with the source is necessary, and if people feel they need to post a breakdown to let others know how they did it, I'm absolutely all for it (though I'm still not going to)

Besides, the judges encourage source breakdowns for actual submissions because of the interpretation dilemma that we're covering now. So why is it ok to be more interpretive and creative with a source if you're submitting for the site than if you're making a track for a competition? Encouraging people to put a damper on their creativity for the sake of making the sources blatant to the listener seems a little silly to me

I also wanted to take a sec to say that the discourse on arrangement and source usage has been pretty civil, and I'm surprised and glad. Thanks everyone for not resorting to flaming and butthurt

Edited by Phonetic Hero
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Guys. If everyone has something different that they believe holds more merit when considering their vote, it adds a diverse range of top votes.

This is better than like... three teams constantly getting 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Every week in a row from everyone.

Stop trying to defend or force your views on voting to others and just work with what you believe.

It's like religion, I have no issue with what you believe in, just don't force it on me and tell me that my beliefs hold less merit.

/rant over

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